Wish list: Nine features we want to see in an iMac refresh at WWDC 2018

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited May 22
At last years' WWDC in June, Apple refreshed its iMac line, and the same thing could happen again during this year's annual conference. With less than two weeks left until the big day, here's our wishlist of things we want to see in any 2018 iMacs that may make an appearance.





WWDC, running from June 4 until June 9, is usually associated with future major updates for operating systems like iOS and macOS, but Apple does announce updates to some of its hardware during the keynote address. This usually takes the form of announcing specification refreshes for Mac product families, and in some cases entirely new hardware designs.

If the iMac range receives some attention, here is a list of changes we hope Apple will have considered making to the lineup.


Intel 8700K Coffee Lake CPU

This processor will, for the first time, bring 6 cores and 12 threads to the standard iMac, potentially increasing CPU performance by over 30% and bringing the 5K iMac closer to the iMac Pro.

In our comparison to the 8-core iMac Pro, the quad-core i7-6700K model kept up quite well, but struggled when we started to edit raw video. In theory, this update could really help when working with minimally-compressed video codecs, as well as speeding up photo editing.

Ultimately, this change might not happen, as the resulting performance could be too close to the entry-level iMac Pro, making the higher-priced option less attractive when a cheaper alternative is available.

AMD Ryzen Processors

Apple fans who are tech enthusiasts have been wishing for Apple to support AMD's new architecture, which finally brings 8-core processors that can compete with Intel.

With the arrival of AMD's 2700X 4.3GHz 8-core CPU, this could be a good time for Apple to make the move over to AMD's Ryzen collection. Not only do these processors pack more cores for less money than Intel's counterparts, they also finally keep up in single-core performance when compared to previous-generation chips.

Since Apple is clearly sticking with AMD graphics, it would make sense for it to branch out to AMD processors as well.

There are many people in the hackintosh community running Ryzen CPU's on the latest MacOS, so it's definitely not an architectural limitation. The biggest hurdle would be including Thunderbolt 3 in an AMD-based iMac, as it isn't natively supported by AMD's chip line.

This, along with an 8-core $2,700 iMac getting close to matching the performance of a base iMac Pro, makes it extremely unlikely that we'll see an AMD processor in an iMac, but we can still dream.

Dual CPU Coolers

Thermal throttling can be an issue in iMacs, especially since it is an all-in-one design that packs a lot into a relatively confined space. Most of the iMacs will even run slower than the lowest rated clock speeds when under heavy loads, like when rendering video, and that includes having the fans running at full blast.




Apple did revamp the cooling system on the iMac Pro to accommodate much more power, but even with that improvement, there's still some throttling taking place under a full load.

We hope Apple reuses that dual-fan cooler design in the 2018 iMac, and hopefully with less power-demanding consumer processors's like the 8700K or Ryzen 2700X.

If this plays out, we may finally have an iMac that can run at its rated speeds without throttling.

Face ID

After using it on the iPhone X, I want to see Face ID added to every Apple device I own. The convenience of unlocking a device with a glance, and not having to enter a password or scan a fingerprint, is truly freeing.

The Dell XPS notebook we recently pitted against our Macbook Pro included a feature called Windows Hello, a facial recognition technology that proved to be a worth competitor to Face ID, if not as advanced. As soon as I opened up the Dell XPS, I'm instantly greeted with my desktop, which is a sweet experience we think should be in all next-generation Apple Macs, including the iMac.

Along with effortless login, the ability to use the Keychain for password control and logins like the iPhone X would make web authentication easy and more secure.

Don't remove the user-accessible RAM slot on the 27-inch iMac

The 27-inch iMac is the only current-generation Apple computer to include a RAM door, and it needs to stay.




Currently, adding your own RAM isn't worth doing because of high memory prices, but we used to be able to save up to $600 by installing our own RAM.

This process doesn't void your warranty, and it can take only a few minutes to upgrade.

The iMac Pro doesn't have the door, which is likely due to the improved cooling system mentioned earlier, but it's also got full length DDR4 ECC RAM sticks, something that isn't needed in the regular iMac.

16GB of RAM for 27-inch Base Models

Every single base 2017 iMac configuration currently gets the same 8GB of RAM, of course with the option to upgrade to a higher amount. It would be nice if at least the next batch of 27-inch iMacs were equipped with 16GB of RAM by default.

It sucks to pay $2,300 for a top-of-the-line 5K iMac model, but to still receive the same amount of RAM as the $1100 base iMac.

Luckily, we still have user-accessible RAM, but the inclusion of extra RAM from the start would be nice.

Upgraded FaceTime Camera and Microphone

The 2017 iMac uses the same HD FaceTime camera that has been used on Macs for years. The iMac Pro, the premium desktop, uses an upgraded 1080p-resolution camera.

The quality difference between the cameras is pretty huge, as shown in our 5K iMac vs iMac Pro FaceTime video comparison. Not only is the quality better, but the iMac Pro did a better job at displaying the correct white balance.

On top of that, the microphone quality is better as well, due to it being equipped with four microphones instead of the 2017 iMac's solitary mic.

There you have it, that's our wishlist for the 2018 iMac. Apple has just confirmed that the WWDC 2018 keynote will take place on June 4th at 10 a.m. and with any luck, we'll see some of these things there.

AppleInsider will be at the keynote, and will provide full coverage of any product announcements made throughout the event.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    Apple should switch to AMD and ditch Intel.
    TomE
  • Reply 2 of 46
    KITAKITA Posts: 145member
    There are many people in the hackintosh community running Ryzen CPU's on the latest MacOS, so it's definitely not an architectural limitation. The biggest hurdle would be including Thunderbolt 3 in an AMD-based iMac, as it isn't natively supported by AMD's chip line.
    HP already has a few laptops coming out with Ryzen CPUs and Thunderbolt 3, so I can't imagine it to be that big of a hurdle.

    EDIT: Nevermind, it looks like Anandtech made a mistake on that after an error in HP's information.

    I'd also like to see the chin go away on the iMac. Something similar to the clean look of Microsoft's or HP's all in one computers would be preferable.




    edited May 22 williamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 46
    PutzyPutzy Posts: 6member
    Please! For the love of God – The chin must go!!!!
    KITAwilliamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 46
    eonaeoneonaeon Posts: 6member
    They need SSDs as standard config across the line
    KITAelijahgcgWerks
  • Reply 5 of 46
    vadimyuryevvadimyuryev Posts: 152member, editor
    eonaeon said:
    They need SSDs as standard config across the line
    That was gonna be one of my wishlist items, but it would have to be 256GB to keep the price down, and some users would end up running out of storage and complaining. Maybe if they gave users the option to choose a 256GB SSD or 1TB Fusion.

    Maybe they'll completely ditch 1TB Hard Drives for Fusion Drives for the base 21.5" models. 
    elijahg
  • Reply 6 of 46
    mike pmike p Posts: 2member
    Is the Space Gray color reserved for the iMac Pro, or could that make its way to the regular iMac line? Agree on making 16GB of RAM standard.
  • Reply 7 of 46
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,346member
    So Apple Insider is tacitly saying (by not mentioning let alone asking for) that the MBP's "semi-vaunted" Touchbar is a gimmick going no place on the Mac platform as a whole (meaning developers won't be supporting it for long, even the minority who do now)....??
    edited May 22
  • Reply 8 of 46
    vadimyuryevvadimyuryev Posts: 152member, editor
    bigpics said:
    So Apple Insider is tacitly saying (by not mentioning let alone asking for) that the MBP's "semi-vaunted" Touchbar is a gimmick going no place on the Mac platform as a whole (meaning developers won't be supporting it for long, even the minority who do now)....??


    We do mention it here. We'll do a video on the Touch Bar after we get our hands on the new lineup.
    CheeseFreezeAlex1Nmatrix077
  • Reply 9 of 46
    I would like to see the case either go back to the thicker aluminum body used in 2009-2012 models or maybe something in the between. To me, it doesn`t matter if the edge of a desktop computer screen is 2,5 cm or 0,5 cm thick. I can understand the importance of making iPhones, iPads and macbooks thinner, since you will be carrying these around. This is not the case of the iMac. What does matter is repairability, upgradeability and airflow.
    I would also like to see better GPU options.
    edited May 22 elijahglibertyandfreezeus423cgWerksAlex1Nfrank777[Deleted User]williamlondonkirkgraybaconstang
  • Reply 10 of 46
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 916member
    bigpics said:
    So Apple Insider is tacitly saying (by not mentioning let alone asking for) that the MBP's "semi-vaunted" Touchbar is a gimmick going no place on the Mac platform as a whole (meaning developers won't be supporting it for long, even the minority who do now)....??
    So expanding the screen size which we haven't seen with this case design would be another obvious possibility that was missed. Would that also be a gimmick?
    Would help to both de-chin and thermal by allowing a wider shorter profile.
  • Reply 11 of 46
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    What does matter is repairability, upgradeability and airflow.
    People don’t repair or upgrade. They just buy new. Apple doesn’t care about us anymore. And they don’t care much for GPUs, since they’re artificially restricting their thermal… I’ve just lost the word I want. Nominal aphasia. The worst part is I’ll never forget that phrase.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 46
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 658member
    What does matter is repairability, upgradeability and airflow.
    People don’t repair or upgrade. They just buy new. Apple doesn’t care about us anymore. And they don’t care much for GPUs, since they’re artificially restricting their thermal… I’ve just lost the word I want. Nominal aphasia. The worst part is I’ll never forget that phrase.
    Envelope? It does make repairs easier and cheaper for Apple though, since having to cut the screen out with a pizza slice, clean off all the tape and reapply new must be quite a fag... The 2009-2012 ones had the display held on by magnets. Worked great, the only reason they've changed it is to make access more difficult, oh and maybe tape is half a penny cheaper than magnets.
    h2p
  • Reply 13 of 46
    boboliciousbobolicious Posts: 443member
    I'd like to see user VESA kits and target display restored as features taken away by the post Jobs era (flexibility options for pros) and while some need 5k it has presented one of the biggest 'bags of hurt' in my memory of mac monitor compatibility... Please give users back our macs...
  • Reply 14 of 46
    I haven't used FaceID yet.

    But, I would love for TouchID to make it to the Desktop Macs. Having two user accounts (one for Work and one for Non-Work) on the same machine it's nice to simply log in or switch users by using one finger or the other when logging in.

    Not sure how my one face will be able to do that.....
    edited May 22 baconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 46
    New design! New design! iMacs look retro now, and not in a cool way.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 16 of 46
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,729member
    If they changed to the iMac Pro type airflow, and added an HDMI input, I'd seriously consider one.
    Those are the main sticking points between the Mini and iMac for me, and I don't necessarily need Mac Pro/iMac Pro power if quad-core is available.
    Also, absolutely, SSD.


  • Reply 17 of 46
    bigpics said:
    So Apple Insider is tacitly saying (by not mentioning let alone asking for) that the MBP's "semi-vaunted" Touchbar is a gimmick going no place on the Mac platform as a whole (meaning developers won't be supporting it for long, even the minority who do now)....??


    We do mention it here. We'll do a video on the Touch Bar after we get our hands on the new lineup.
    I really appreciate Appleinsider being more critical of the brand Apple. These video reviews create a sort of common ground, a consensus across Apple brand ambassors, what can be done to remain at the top.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 18 of 46
    KITAKITA Posts: 145member
    cgWerks said:
    added an HDMI input
    That would be great, but unfortunately I don't ever see them doing that.
  • Reply 19 of 46
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,729member
    KITA said:
    cgWerks said:
    added an HDMI input
    That would be great, but unfortunately I don't ever see them doing that.
    Unfortunately, me either. What a waste of a great display! And, it also means that the iMac just isn't going to do it for me.
  • Reply 20 of 46
    NHDNHD Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I would also like to see following things: 1: Removal of chin/if not completely bezeless 2: ProMotion Display (OLED for iMac is years away) 3: Standard SSD 4: 16GB RAM as standard
Sign In or Register to comment.